Connecticut, US

Jan 21 2019

New Law Streamlines Shortage Occupation Processing and Other Aspects of Work Permit Process

Slovak Republic

At a Glance

Based on a new law, foreign workers in Slovakia and their employers will see the following key changes:

  • Streamlined processing of work authorization applications for shortage occupations.
  • A new requirement for employers to notify all vacancies to the Labour Office, including for shortage occupations, EU and Slovak workers.
  • Amended document requirements, with diploma requirements waived for most applicants, but a new document requirement for in-country residence permit applications for employment purposes.

The situation

The new law, effective immediately, notably covers the below topics:

  • Streamlined shortage occupation process.
    • Shorter processing time. The Foreign Police’s standard processing time for all shortage occupation applications is now within 30 days of receipt a positive labor market statement from the Labor Office, down from 30-90 days.
      • Impact. Applicants in shortage occupations and their employers should benefit from faster and more predictable processing times. However, in light of ongoing delays at the Bratislava Labor Office, applicants for this location may benefit from these changes to a more limited extent.
    • More frequent shortage designations. The Labor Office will now designate certain job titles as shortage occupations on a quarterly basis instead of an annual basis, providing more opportunities for shortage occupations to be added to the list.
      • Impact. This change seeks to align the shortage occupation list more closely with labor market developments. Since labor market testing is not required for shortage occupations, this change should result in more occupations benefiting from this waiver.

         
  • Labor market testing-related changes.
    • Vacancies posted for shorter time. Employers must now post vacant positions for 10 business days before filing a work permit application, down from 15 business days.
      • Impact. This change reduces the waiting time before filing an application, reducing overall work permit processing times.
    • More vacancies notifications. Employers must now report all vacant positions to the Labour Office, including shortage occupations and positions to be filled by EU and Slovak nationals. Previously, employers could post vacancies through less formal channels (not through the Labour Office). Noncompliant employers will face a fine of up to EUR 300 per unreported vacancy.
      • Impact. This change allows the Labour Office to more accurately designate shortage occupations. Though employers can report vacancies online, this administrative step is now applicable to more applicants than under the previous rule.

         
  • New documentary requirements.
    • Diploma waived for most applications. Applicants for most work authorization types are no longer required to submit a legalized diploma or degree with their application. Legalized degrees are only required for applications for regulated professions (e.g. doctor, lawyer, teacher) going forward. 
      • Impact. This change removes a difficult and time-consuming step from the work permit application process, reducing the administrative burden on applicants and overall work permit processing times. Additionally, more applicants would qualify for work authorization in Slovakia.
    • New housing document. Applicants for most work authorization types must now obtain a Municipality Consent document from town hall and submit it with their residence permit application, a requirement that did not exist before. It may take a few days to a few weeks to obtain this document.
      • Impact. Though this change adds an administrative burden on applicants, it should not delay work start dates.

         
  • Increased period of compliance check. The Labour Office will now review the records of employers hiring foreign workers to determine whether any illegal employment practices occurred over the past five years, instead of the past two years under the previous law.
    • Impact. Employers should ensure that their foreign workers’ documentation from the past five years is properly maintained and should review any instances of noncompliance with immigration laws over the past five years with their immigration provider.

 

Background

This law follows the introduction of several new immigration rules in May 2018.

Looking ahead

The government is expected to publish further information on a new project to expedite processing for newly-created technology centers in the coming months. Fragomen will report on these and other ongoing developments when more information is available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].